Getting Started with Xamarin.Forms and Azure Mobile App Service

Jeff Hopper .NET, Azure, Mobile, Technology Snapshot, Tutorial Leave a Comment

Earlier this month my friend Ryan introduced us to Getting Started with Xamarin Forms and Prism. In that post, Ryan started a mobile application to display blog posts which he called SimpleBlog.

In this article, I would like to continue that demonstration by adding a back-end server to persist and share these blogs. This will be accomplished using Azure’s Mobile App Service which falls within its free tier services.

Yes, you did read that right: you can spin up an Azure account and have access to try out many of Azure’s features. For instance, the example I am going to walk you through today can be hosted indefinitely without costing you anything, and to that, you could add nine more web, mobile, or API services. See https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/free/ for more information.

There is no way I am going to be able to cover all the possibilities available in an Azure Mobile App service, much less what Azure has to offer. My intent in this post is to help “whet your appetite” on the possibilities by giving a quick overview of just two great frameworks that play great together: the Microsoft.Azure.Mobile.Client mobile framework tied to an Azure Mobile Apps Service….



Getting Started with Xamarin Forms and Prism

Ryan Nguyen .NET, Mobile, Technology Snapshot 2 Comments

In this blog, I’ll show you how easy it is to create an Android and iOS application using Xamarin Forms while utilizing Prism.

What are Xamarin Forms?
Xamarin Forms is a platform that allows developers to create native Android, iOS, and Windows applications while using the beloved C# programming language. 

An attractive feature of Xamarin Forms is that it uses a shared C# codebase to create a native user interface specific to their platform. Out of the box, Xamarin provides large collections of controls to get started. It also has the ability to access native platform features, such as camera access, GPS, text to speech, etc, by using the Dependency Service.

What is Prism?
According to the Prism website, Prism is defined as “a framework for building loosely coupled, maintainable, and testable XAML applications in WPF, Windows 10 UWP, and Xamarin Forms. Prism provides an implementation of a collection of design patterns that are helpful in writing well-structured and maintainable XAML applications, including MVVM, dependency injection, commands, EventAggregator, and others.” In other words, Prism helps users to write better code…. 



Core ML

Core ML After Dark

Derek Andre Machine Learning, Mobile, Technology Snapshot, Tutorial Leave a Comment

So you’ve made this great social media app, and you are about to sit back and wait for the money to roll in. But, there is a problem: people keep trying to upload nude photos to it.

What if we could have a trained machine learning model that could detect not safe for work (NSFW) content and do it on a iOS device, before any image would be uploaded to a server?

Developing this trained machine learning model is way out of scope for this blog post. Luckily, the good people at Yahoo have already done this with their open-sourced trained Caffe models. The question now is, how can we use this on an iOS device?

In this post: The sultry side of your iPhone can collide with acceptable use policies. We introduce a machine learning solution that can help your application decide what is truly too hot for the internet using Core ML on iOS…



An Example Progressive Web App on Android

RJ Dela-Cruz AngularJS, JavaScript, Mobile, Technology Snapshot Leave a Comment

In my experience, the best way to learn a new technology is to create something tangible with it. I recently sought out to learn Angular and Angular Material. So, I developed an experimental Angular app that uses omdbapi to query Movie Posters. It’s aptly named Movie Poster Finder.

Developing the Movie Poster Finder application, I ran into a thing called PWA, which is also known as Progressive Web Applications. I thought it was really neat that both Android and mobile Chrome treat them as native applications.

In this post, I will show an example Progressive Web Application in action, explaining what I encountered when turning an experimental Angular web application into a PWA.



A Conversation About Conversations

David Pitt Conversational Apps, JavaScript, Keyhole Creations, Mobile, Node.js, React, Technology Snapshot Leave a Comment

We created a platform that supports developing a “conversational” type application through SMS. The user experience between a user and an SMS application can be thought of as a conversation. A user texts a question or topic, and a reply is returned, then another question and reply is performed until a desired result is accomplished.

Now, this is not a universal user experience, but for many use cases it can provide an easy to deliver users functionality quickly and conveniently. There is no need to install or download apps, or pop open a browser and type in a URL; just have a conversation through your texting app.

In this blog: Why conversational applications are handy, examples of conversational applications we have created, and a walkthrough of the application architecture used to develop those SMS applications. Includes how to make texting a richer experience, state, and session handling insights.